Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ham Radio Youth Tie-Ins Span the Globe

We have news this month of three widely-separated activities with similar goals of increasing young people's interest in amateur radio. The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides' annual "Thinking Day on the Air" event took place in February, with groups of young women learning about amateur radio and getting a chance to get on the air. It's the Girl Scouts' version of the Boy Scouts' annual Jamboree on the Air. The ARRL Letter reports on activities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland and Nebraska that drew large numbers of interested scouts. For more info on Thinking Day on the Air, visit <>.

In Australia, Tony Falla, VK3KKP has outfitted an old public bus with a ham station designed to give young people an opportunity for hands-on discovery of ham radio's magic. Newsline reported on a recent demo for a group of Venture scouts, who made a chance contact with a ham in New Zealand who was operating from a mountain cabin with just a radio and a battery. Many of them decided to follow up and get their Foundation licenses (Australia's beginner license). Falla was also written up recently in an Australian newspaper, in an article titled, "My Place: The Science of the Hams."

Finally, a group of students in Virginia used ham radio to talk with the crew of a research vessel in the South Pacific that is using advanced technology to search the ocean floor for the remains of aviator Amelia Earhart's ill-fated Electra, which disappeared in 1937 on an attempted round-the-world flight. The ARRL Letter also reports that the ship's crew had the opportunity to make a ham contact with International Space Station Commander Shane Kimbrough KE5HOD, at the ISS ham station NA1SS. Some Russian-speaking crew members on the research vessel also got to talk with one of the Russian cosmonauts aboard the orbiting station.